During her final constituency town hall of the year, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave updates to ongoing negotiations with the Congressional COVID-19 stimulus bill while later addressing concerns of Bronx and Queens residents from her 14th District.
She said that currently the state of the changing proposed legislation is revolving around providing stimulus checks of $600 to $700, which the congresswoman called an “insultingly low amount,” along with weekly unemployment boosts of $330 billion in funding for small business relief and an additional $257 billion towards the paycheck protection program in addition to $90 billion in local and state aid.
Advising those virtually attending to enter “survival mode” until late January, AOC stressed the need of localized aid to New York, warning that it will take “billions and billions of dollars” to prevent potential regressive tax increases.
“This should have happened in August,” she said.
One constituent, who operates a catering hall in Corona, Queens asked about what could be done for such struggling venues who do are not eligible for much of PPP.
AOC responded, saying that she is advocating for “special provisions” to go towards federal funding for venues and catering halls, which have been financially devastated from the pandemic.
“There is a lot of attention being paid for that,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez also addressed instances PPP misuse from earlier in the year, dismissing a second wave of such instances, saying “I do think there is going to be increased scrutiny” on how PPP is allocated in said stimulus.
One constituent from AOC’s home nabe of Parkchester in the Bronx asked about what locally could be done for a green new deal, citing the neighborhood’s close proximity to the exhaust entrenched Cross Bronx Expressway.
Explaining a correlation with such fumes and asthma rates in both adults and children, Ocasio-Cortez said a great deal of such pollutants is also coming off old buildings in areas like Parkchester and that there is legislation being pushed to retrofit such properties with federal funding.
AOC also listed “three central priorities” for the Bronx in the upcoming year: housing, jobs, and immigration issues.
“We have to dive into the situation with NYCHA,” she said, adding that January’s administration change will give an opportunity to “zero in” on local public housing issues and creating “actually affordable.”
On the topic of job creation, Ocasio-Cortez said that’s what can be done with the proposed New Green Deal.
“We’re really looking forward to bringing clean, dignified, climate jobs,” AOC said in regards to new infrastructure creation along with “anti-poverty work.”
For immigration, AOC said her party is pushing to allow mixed status families to receive federal COVID-19 relief.
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez also confirmed that she will be receiving a COVID-19 vaccine when it is her turn in order.